TIM BUNTING

KIWI YAMABUSHI

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The trick to climbing 2,446 stone steps

Haguro-san is famous for its stone stairway in the middle of the cedar forest. Each of the 2,446 steps is a different height, a different shape, and a different depth as well. When you walk the steps, it is obvious that they were built for Japanese people a few centuries ago, rather than a 186cm-tall Kiwi Yamabushi in 2022.

I don’t know how many times I have climbed them, by now the number would be in the 100s. And over the years I’ve watched as usually after the rain, people slip and slide down the mountain, myself included at times. Every time though, the advice is always the same.

The trick to climbing 2,446 stone steps, is to climb 2,446 stone steps.

That’s right, the trick is to climb every. single. step.

Once you realise that getting too far ahead of yourself is a recipe for disaster, you make sure to walk every step. And that’s the way you guarantee you get through.

That’s how you climb 2,446 stone steps.

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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